Wouldn’t you know it? I go to all the trouble of suggesting 20 questions for the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees to ask FBI agent Peter Strzok in his much-anticipated closed-door hearing on Wednesday, and he hardly answers anything. Sure, mine were mostly tongue-in-cheek, but come on. I’m sure the committees had plenty of extremely important questions for him, and he was essentially non-responsive over the course of several hours.
At least that’s the impression given in the brief reports that followed the testimony of the anti-Trump crusader. Committee members were not buying. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said, “Unfortunately, FBI counsel ordered Mr. Strzok not to answer many of the legitimate questions he was asked. We intend to hold a public hearing soon.”
RELATED READING: 20 Questions for Peter Strzok
Strzok was supposed to be there to address the obvious political bias in his texts with FBI colleague and extramarital squeeze Lisa Page, clarify his role in the Trump/Russia investigation and shed light on the exoneration of Hillary over her clearly illegal use of a private server while Secretary of State and her clearly illegal destruction of subpoenaed evidence. But not much light was shed. According to Freedom Caucus member Ron DeSantis of Florida, “It was a waste --- Strzok is full of it and kept hiding behind [the] classified information excuse.”
Gee, that seems odd, because it was his lawyer who insisted just the other day that Strzok was eager to testify, to set the record straight on what he considers to be a mischaracterization –- even a caricature –- of him. For someone so eager to testify, he really was not forthcoming at all. The committees got the runaround.
Sorry, this is classified. The investigation is ongoing. My lawyer advises me, blah blah blah. Sorry, Mr. Strzok, that dog won’t hunt. The people in the room had security clearances, not to mention the constitutional duty to oversee the FBI, and they are sick and tired of getting the Readers Digest version of critical documents. The same goes for your heavily edited and self-serving testimony.
My understanding is that Strzok wasn’t even testifying under oath. If that is true, why wasn’t he sworn in? And why should he get to decide which questions he will and will not answer? Who does he think he is, Hillary Clinton?
Incidentally, I thought Strzok really might “pull a Bill Clinton” when I saw the video of him walking down the hall to the hearing. It was not my imagination –- he actually did have that same little self-satisfied, cat-that-ate-the-canary half-smile that we saw on Bill when he hid behind the meaning of the word “is.” He must have known in advance that he’d be able to cover his behind, at least for one more day.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz is still working on a report that will examine Strzok’s role in the Trump/Russia investigation, including the use of the FISA court to get warrants to target (SPY ON) Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. Word from the hearing was that Strzok claimed he’d had nothing to do with the warrant on Carter Page. Really? Strzok was the lead investigator! There is no way something like that would have been done without his knowledge and consent. Again: committee members, not buying.
According to Catherine Herridge for FOX News, Republicans on the committees “remain convinced” that Strzok’s anti-Trump bias “infected the FBI investigations.”
The Judiciary Committee had said the hearing would involve both classified and unclassified information to “sort through” before a public hearing took place. “A public hearing will be held!” they assured us. So perhaps we should just look at this closed-door hearing as a preliminary step --- a run-through to give the committees a chance to determine what to cover in the public hearing and how they’re going to handle Strzok. My first suggestion: SWEAR HIM IN.
It’s the public hearing that will tell the tale. And, hey, maybe they’ll throw in a few of my 20 questions! But I get the impression his lawyer might object.
LEAVE ME A COMMENT BY CLICKING HERE. I READ THEM!